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Author Topic: illustrations
Member # 10087

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Does anyone have experience with adding illustrations to their story?
How/where does one find illustrators and how do you approach them about illustrating your book?

Also how much would I expect to give up in royalties, etc. And would a publisher work out paying them or is it more that I hire them?

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Member # 10008

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I have zero experience. But I've heard you can browse through DeviantArt until you find someone who's a good match and then try to partner with them. There are also stock photo sites that are specifically geared toward book covers.

Royalties would depend on how much illustration there is. If you've got a deal with a publisher they would handle the illustrations. If you're self-pubbing, you'd be doing that.

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Member # 8019

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Publishers may provide illustrations, they may not. A publisher will vett illustrations as part of a manuscript submission's evaluation. Layout and design, including art inclusion decisions, are the publisher's dominion in many scenarios but not all. Heavily graphic content, like for graphic novels and children's books, may be part of a submission's package and evaluation.

A publishing contract will often stipulate the terms, though whether illustration costs are the writer's or borne by the house often falls on the writer.

Copy art or clip art may be from a house's stock files or hired or licensed from artists. Content-specific art is usually hired and licensed from artists.

Royalties or licensing fees depend on how much art content is included. More art content, likely royalties and an advance; less art content, likely license fees.

A license fee is typically for nonexclusive use. The art is owned by the artist and licensed at a fixed cost for use in a publication. Royalties are paid based on revenue earned. The artist may still retain copyright ownership, but agree the use is exclusive to the publication.

A license fee for a trade paperback or case cover book's artwork may be in the $100 range per illustration for a half to full-page black and white interior use; $400 for color interior and cover use.

I don't remember exactly, but W&IotF pays winning artists for publication in the anthology on top of their prize money. I'm guessing in the $500 range as they do for winning writers.

Advances for art are all over the spectrum, depending on the artist's reputation mostly. Though artists like to earn a living based on time and material expenditures, many invest more than they get back out of a desire for promotional exposure. A writer may have to pay an advance to an artist for illustrating a work in advance of publication, with no guarantee the work, either the text or the illustrations, will be published.

The adage "A picture is worth a thousand words" comes from serial publication practices of the colonial era, where an illustration occupied on a newspaper page the same real estate as one thousand words and paid the artist the same rate, pennies per word, roughly circa 1800 about $10-20. A loaf of coarse bread only cost about $0.05 then.

[ September 05, 2013, 03:14 PM: Message edited by: extrinsic ]

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Member # 9757

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You can find free art all over the internet. Some of it isn't worth the price. You can find free graphic programs all over the internet, that will let you cut, paste, stretch, colorize, enhance, cartoonize, etc. anything you can find.

You can go to some site where starving artists hang out and post an announcement what you are looking for. Then sit back and let the artists bid for the job.

You can go to an endless supply of artistic sites and look at premade art which is available to license for fees that typically range from pocket change to several hundred dollars.

The problem is drowning in the wealth available. I recommend either learning to do it yourself (best payoff in the long run) or going to one of the sites like DevianArt or a similar place and posting a description of what you want, and what you are willing to pay. Most likely somebody will eventually make you an offer.

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Robert Nowall
Member # 2764

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My one experience with someone illustrating one of my stories comes from my Internet Fan Fiction days. Somebody drew a picture of a character from one of my stories---an original character, not one of the ones lifted from The Series---but it was something I didn't find out until some years had passed.

That's probably not much help...

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Member # 9686

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The only time you would ever need to hire an illustrator your self is if you self publish. Even picture book writers do not find their own illustrators. Any art will be handled and paid for by the publisher, 100%.
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Member # 10087

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Well, I haven't decided yet which publishing route I want to take and I suppose that bridge is still away off anyhow. But I'm just curious so everything has been very helpful. That does, however, bring me to a question on publishing but I suppose I'll start a new thread for it.
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